Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 13: There's Sunshine In My Soul Today!:)

Actually...let me rephrase that....there has been sunshine in my soul ALL week! It was a wonderful weekend! Virginie was baptized and confirmed and HOLY craziness! I didn't know how much you needed to do in order to get ready for a baptism! But it went great! She was SO HAPPY! And there was a great show up! The ward just adores her and because of that there were SO MANY people at her baptism and SO MUCH food afterwords! So to say my first baptism experience on my mission was amazing just doesn't do it justice! I have no words! Just that the gospel blesses people and makes them happier than anything else in this world! Virginie is really the amazing one! She has changed so much and her faith has grown tremendously even since I have been here! (She started taking lessons in October and I got here in December!) She even gave her own talk at her baptism! And she lost her talk so she did it by memory!!! And man! That women is going to be the General Relief Society President someday! She is just stellar!;) So solid! She even bore her testimony at church yesterday and then in relief society she whispered, "Can I go up again?" and I said, "Of course!" So she went up and bore her testimony again in relief society! And now she can come door knocking and teaching with us! She is so excited! We went out with Morgan, Sister Jacobsen, Virginie and Julia, and another couple in our ward that is really close to Virginie to Hibachi Grill and Sushi afterwards! Me and Virginie BOTH have a love for sushi! It brings us closer together!;) Bahahaha! And then Sister Jacobsen got us home 10 minutes late and was laughing because she said President told her, "Just because they are with you, doesn't mean you can keep them out all night." And so President came over to us at church and asked us when we got home and we all just busted up laughing! "On time, of course, President!" Bahahaha! I just love President and Sister Jacobsen I couldn't have asked for better "parents" on my mission.<3

Oh! And the weather has been crazy! We had our first "blizzard" of the year and me and Sister Nelson got ice cream while walking outside in it! Bahahaha! For some reason we were sick of hot cocoa and there's a yummy "Quality Dairy" down the street that is known for their ice cream! So while we were walking home from a member lesson in the blizzard we were eating ice cream! Bahaha! Memories! :) (Don't worry, Mom! We were all bundled up and President wouldn't let any of the missionaries in the mission drive that day because the roads were scary. And we were only out for a little bit. The member lived down the street.)

Ok, sorry for all the blab! Here are momma's questions for the week:

1.) What were some of your favorite parts of Virginie's baptism?

Just how happy she was and she said at the end of the night the word to describe the day and how she felt was "loved". I was so glad! And then at dinner, she came up to me and Sister Nelson and almost made us start balling because she told us how grateful she was that we came on missions and into her life. She also said now, wherever we go, we will have a little piece of her and Julia in our hearts. On my! Tears! I love her so much! (When she gets married in France, Mom, we are going! They are building a temple in Paris!;) ) 

2.)  Are the Vanegas' making it to church more? And how is Rick? Don't you have more baptisms coming up?

Pray for the Vanegas'. They are struggling. And Rick is on fire! We taught him at the church right before Virginie's baptism and he said he prayed about a baptism date and the date is MARCH 19TH!!! Yay! We are so excited for him! So that' s our next baptism coming up! He is so solid and his testimony is awesome. He said something I LOVED! When were were telling him that Satan is going to be working hard on him, he responded, "But Christ works harder." How STELLAR is he?! :D

3.) What are you looking forward to this week?

Just having one last, good week with Sister Nelson! I love her and have learned so much from her. Transfer calls are on Friday! So I am most likely staying, but I most likely will get a new companion. Sister Nelson has been in this area for 6 months! Maybe I will train and get my own baby! Who knows?:)

4.) Shout-outs?

Ehhhh....if I pick and choose then people will feel left out! Know I love and miss you all!;) And I love the ones who send me letters and packages even more!!! Bahaha!;) Jk!....maybe......

5.) A ponderize scripture?

I challenge you all to read your favorite scripture this week and then when you email me next week send it to me and tell me why you like it so much!:) I don't really have a specific one for this week! Sorry!

I love you all so much! And I miss you so much! But I LOVE my mission and I don't think I have ever been happier in my life than I am out here serving others! Read the scriptures and then live them! As I have done that, I have felt myself come to know Christ even more! Have a stellar and warm week and know you are all in my thoughts and prayers!<3
Remember the church is true and I love you!
<3Sister Rogers<3
Michigan Lansing Mission

Haha! Getting Julia to hold still was a struggle! Hahaha! We had to give her cookies, hand sanitizer, and our rings to keep her still during the baptism and she was still bouncing all over the place! And then Virginie says, "I look depressed in this picture!" But she really was smiling all day long!:) Don't worry!

Still looking fab in her black, high heels! How French! Bahahaha!;) And then Brother Moulding! (That's the couple she's best friends with!) So cool that he baptized her! They met because they both work at MSU together and then she recognized him the first time she came to church!

So we woke up super early and went and shoveled Steven's driveway for a late birthday present and because he was sick! And man! I rocked that snow blower! Haha! ;) He was so surprised when he came out! We were trying to get it all done before he came out, but he caught us! And then his driveway is HUGE and we were halfway done by using shovels and he laughed and told us he had a snow blower! And I wasn't cold! I was sweating hot! Me and Sister Nelson both had to take off our coats for a little while! So fun!:)

Me with some of my fav Elders! We are all mocassin buddies and we match every zone P-day! I hope they both stay in my zone!;(

Ice cream in the blizzard! Yummmmmmmmmm! (It is cookie dough mixed with cookies and cream btw!)

Sister Nelson walking in the crazy blizzard! It looks pretty but that's about it! Haha!

Some thick snow! We got at least a foot and a half! Hahaha!:) So fun to shovel! ;) I now consider myself a pro!

*Note from Riley's Momma:  As I was downloading pics, I stumbled across this one that I obviously forgot to post at some point way back.  I thought I'd include it since it is of Julia, Virginie's daughter & as a HUGE congrats to Virginie's baptism this past Saturday! Sis Rogers & Sis Nelson sure love this little future missionary! (and she seems to love the camera....well, this time, right?)  What a little goof ball! <3

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 12: Holy Hades, AZ!

Hello Family and Friends!:)

Holy Hades, Arizona!!! I think you have been bringing some heat and sunshine over here in the North Pole because these past couple days have been warmer! I can tell I am turning into a true "Michigander" when I don't wear a jacket or coat when it is 40 degrees F outside. Haha! We went door knocking on a 55 degree, sunny, windy day and we soaked it all in! It was beautiful and I didn't even wear a jacket! (Don't worry, Mom. I am taking care of myself. I leave my coat in the car in case I need it. Haha.) But me and Sister Nelson are STOKED because of Virginie's baptism on Saturday! We have a lot to do this week to make sure everything is prepared and good to go! Crazy! And our whole district is coming to the baptism and a ton of members in the ward! She's going to feel so loved!<3 I feel like I have known her forever. Not just 2 months! It is crazy how time works on a mission! Well here are Mom's (and Meg's) questions of the week!:)

1.) What do you ask when you first meet people/investigators to get them interested in the missionaries? could do a lot of different things depending on the person! Ask them what makes them happy and then tie a gospel principle in that would make them interested. And then be their friend and invite them to activities. Or even over to the house for dinner when the missionaries are there!;) And pray lots!:) It is different for everyone!

2.) How's Steven's progress going? Is the Vanegas family doing better? Any other investigators we can pray for?

Steven told us he was going to be at church yesterday and then he wasn't there.:( He usually even texts us with an excuse, but when we texted him he never texted back. So we could tell there were no good excuses this time! Please pray for him! It's just crazy because Friday night we had a Chili-Cook Off and he was there and EVERYONE and their dog were talking to him because they loved him so much! (BTW, Mom...I gave them the golden ladel idea and they totally did it! Haha! They loved the idea!) Anyways, so we are not really sure what's up. The Vanegas' were at church yesterday and they are doing ok! We just can never find time to meet with them so that is hard! Pray for our schedules to line up and work out so we can meet with them, please! And then Rick is doing well and progressing awesome!:)

3.) It looks like you've had some fun P-Days. Who decides what you get to do?

US! (A.K.A. the sisters in our district) Haha! The Elders are so sweet and always ask us what we want to do and then we all kind of compromise on something. We are running low on ideas though so me and Sister Nelson always push it off on the Elders to figure something out!;)

4.) How do the missionaries work in the University area?

There are 2 sets of sisters (one set are the STL's) and then one set of elders (the AP's) on campus. They love it! They go talk to college students on campus and then the institute/our MLM office is across the street from campus so they do a lot of lessons there.

5.) Ponderize scripture and a challenge for us all!;)

Someone gave a talk in church yesterday and said something I loved! They were talking about the Restoration of the Church and said, "We are all working on being restored." Which is so true! The restoration of the gospel isn't over! It has merely begun! We have so much work to do and we can all be restored through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is amazing how the atonement works and how it has restored me in a sense. I never thought I would be able to sure a mission because of my anxiety and depression. And amazingly my mission has helped my anxiety and depression. Yes, I had to stretch and be cut down....but then I could grow and be healed. My mission has definitely helped heal and restore my life. How has the gospel restored your life? My challenge to you is to go "restore" someone this week by serving them! It won't only restore them, but it will restore you. And you will feel the atonement of Jesus Christ blessing you and the people you are serving!

I love you all and feel your prayers all the time! It is crazy! I can literally feel when people are praying for me! So thank you! And stay cool in that heat! Keep bringing it over here! And have a STELLAR week!<3:D

Remember the church is true and I love you!
<3Sister Rogers<3
Michigan Lansing Mission

We found a house whose porch roof was painted like this! You wouldn't believe some of the houses we see here in MI! Bahahaha! :) It added a little blue skies to our day though!:)

Julia is already ready to be a missionary! It was SO ADORABLE! She put on Sister Nelson's shoes, grabbed her purse, Sister Nelson put her name tag on her, and Virginie grabbed her Book of Mormon and gave it to her! Hahaha! Virginie wants her to go on a mission someday! Oh how wonderful would that be!<3:) This little girl has my heart! She still screams in joy whenever we come over! It is hilarious!

I still need to name him...or her...I haven't decided! I thinks plants are boys and girls! Haha! I love my baby cactus! Little piece of home with me! Thanks family! I love it!!! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 11: Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day Friends and Family! (And Happy Birthday, Gabe!)<3:)

I hope you all ate LOTS of chocolate and loved one another even more!;) This week has been STELLAR! (Haha. That is "Sister Rogers word". All the other missionaries and my investigators make fun of me because I say it ALL the time. Not sure if I did before my mission...but now I do! Haha!) It has been FREEZING this week! Sometimes I feel like I am serving a mission in Antarctica! It got down to the negatives this let's just say I am so thankful we have a car for one more week! Here's Momma's questions of the week:

1.) Are you feeling better?:)

Much better! I am not longer "sick"! Hallelujah!:D

2.) How are your investigators doing? Who can we pray for?

They are doing STELLAR! (See! There it is again! Haha!) Virginie's getting baptized February 27th!!! That is in two weeks! We moved her date up because she is so prepared! She was like giddy excited at church yesterday and she got a priesthood blessing after church for comfort after a long week which was awesome! She loved it! And she just loves this gospel! Me and Sister Nelson are out of our element because this is our first baptism! So it is pretty exciting to say the least! We were in tears and like screaming and hugging right when we left Virginie's apartment after moving her date up. And she poked her head out her door and said, "I hear you! Hahaha!" It was pretty funny! I am so excited for her! I am blessed to know her! She has changed my life and I am glad I could be a tool in the Lord's hands to help change her's.<3

Steven came to a baptism we went to on Saturday. It was for Breana, one of the Elders' investigators that are in our ward. I have gotten so close to her because she was one of the first people I met when I got to East Lansing. She was so loving and helped me feel so welcomed because I was so homesick! I felt like we taught her! Me and Sister Nelson were so excited! It was a good Saturday! Steven was even asking about his baptism that is set? for March 5. But please pray for him because we still have some stuff to work on before then. I just love him though! He constantly teases me and Sister Nelson and feels like a dad in a way! I hope he stays true to what he is coming to learn and believe! :)

And then our other investigators are all doing well! The Vanegas Family came to church for the first time yesterday since I have been here on my mission! So that was a tender mercy and I was so happy!:) So continue to pray for them as well please!:)

3.) What have been some of your biggest challenges lately? Successes?

My biggest challenges lately....hmmmm....probably just getting used to this Antarctic cold and continuing to work on me and Sister Nelson's companionship. We are super different and it isn't easy (I'm not going to lie), but it has been so worth it! I have grown so much as a missionary and a person in general. I have never been more grateful to struggle getting along with someone. Our love continues to grow for each other.<3

My biggest successes would have to be Virginie's baptism and then how many of our investigators and less actives that came to church yesterday! We have been working so hard and 6 of our investigators were there and 3 less actives! Numbers don't matter! But those people do! I love them and I am so grateful for that tender mercy and the success we have had as a companionship as we have done what The Lord has asked of us.:) Yesterday, I truly felt how proud Heavenly Father was of me and what I am doing here. It was a cool feeling.

4.) What's something that's been motivating you lately?

The fact that my mission is FLYING by scares me! I love it so much! So just really making the most of EVERY moment. It's like that talk from general conference (don't remember who it was by) about how we are using our "4 minutes" because life is so short compared to eternity. We will have eternity to look back on our life, so make the best use of your time. Time is so precious and I have learned how much of a gift it is as I have been here in Michigan.:)

5.) Ponderize Scripture:

2 Nephi 18:16

How are you binding up your testimony? What could you do to bind it and make it even stronger? My challenge to you all this week is do something that will help strengthen your testimony of Jesus Christ. He loves you and is your best friend. So strengthen that friendship with him.

I love you all so much! I have felt the strength that your prayers, letters, packages, love, and support has given me! I am beyond grateful! Have a STELLAR and "warmer" week!;)

Remember the church is true and I love you!
<3Sister Rogers<3
Michigan Lansing Mission

It's President's Day so we bought him balloons, made him a card, and baked him a cake! Bahahaha! It was "Grandma Sodja's" idea and her and Sister Mathis pretty much did all the work! i just did the driving! I am getting pretty good in this scary Antarctica weather!:) President LOVED it and got a kick out of it!

Zoo Trip!

We went to the zoo one P-day and it was so fun! The only bummer was the animals looked so depressed! Sister Nelson kept saying she wanted to let them out so they could roam free! Haha!;)

Trade offs with the amazing, Sister Foster! I got to go serve on MSU campus for a day and it was SO FUN! I just love college students! I hope I get to serve there one day!:)

Breana's baptism!:)

Right after Virginie decided she wanted to be baptized February 27th she said we had to take a pic! So of course us girls were all for pictures!;)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 10: Guess who got sick, got her DP's, and still witnessed many miracles?;)

Yep! Me! That's who! I drove yesterday for the first time in two and a half months and it was glorious! (DP's mean driving privileges by the way.) And I got sicker than a dog and had to go to the doctor! I had some disgusting virus that they call an Upper Respiratory Illness (aka worst cold ever). So since it was a virus they couldn't really give me antibiotics to cure it. So they prescribed me this nasal spray stuff and I loaded up on cold medicine, Vitamin D, and Emergen-C, and I stayed in for 2 days! That's how rough it was! I sounded like I was dying! Haha! Luckily I am feeling WAY better now! Sister Nelson was freaked out one day and said she came and checked on me because I was asleep for 4 hours straight and hadn't make a peep! Haha! She said she wanted to make sure I wasn't dead because she was a little worried!;) But all is well now! I guess I just had to get sick sooner or later. Anyways, here are momma's questions for the week:

1.) Michigan question: What are some main differences, besides the weather (ha ha!) that you've noticed between Michigan & home?

Ummmm......probably the accents now that Steven pointed it out! People do talk a little different here and they REALLY notice it when we talk! Haha!:)

2.) Have you heard when it will start warming up?

Not sure. It will snow one day and be sunny the next. Michigan is way bipolar this year because of El Nino.

3.) Do they really cancel church if the weather gets bad? You haven't experienced that yet, have you?

Yes they do! But no! That hasn't happened to our ward yet! One Sunday was close though!

4.) Have you gotten the chance to spend any time or gotten to know other missionaries in your area?

Yes! Our Lansing area is so luckily because we are so close to the mission home and office. There are about 10 missionaries in our area and then every P-day we usually get together as a district first and then as a zone! So that is really fun! I am really close to a lot of the misssionaries here! We are just lucky to see other missionaries so often in this area. Other parts of the mission aren't like that. And we are EXTRA lucky because President and Sister Jacobsen are in our ward so we see them often! I went over to their house and lazed around when I was sick while Morgan and Sister Nelson went to go teach 2 lessons. I was bummed to miss the lessons, but it was fun to hang out and talk to President and Sister Jacobsen especially! Funny story, President came in and turned off the light when I was laying on the couch in the living room so I could fall asleep and he asked, " Can I get you anything....water, juice, a cold beer?" Hahahaha! He is the best! I just love him! His sense of humor is one of a kind! So you could say I am pretty close to them! I'm so glad I was called to this area first so I could get to know them so well! That is one of the many reasons why I LOVE East Lansing!<3 It is going to be hard to leave this area someday.

5.) How are your investigators doing? How is Daniel? Is Virginie still on the calendar for baptism?

Good! Daniel and Abe we haven't been able to meet with because of their busy schedules and them getting sick, but three of our investigators are on date for baptism! Virginie (April 6th), Steven (yay-March 5th), and then one of our newer investigators, Charmbaro (March 19). Our area is ON FIRE! We are so thankful for all of our brothers and sisters we get to teach and for their faith and testimonies! It makes all the hard things about mission life totally worth it! :)

6.) Ponderize Scripture:

My challenge to you this week is to find your favorite scripture and share it with someone who is not a member! Good luck! I know this will not only bless the person you share it with, but you and your testimony as well! And then email me your experiences!:)

Love you all and miss you so much! Have a fun, happy week! And don't forget to smile and laugh!!:)

P.S. Sorry...I didn't take any pics this week!:P Next week for sure!

Remember the church is true and I love you!
<3Sister Rogers<3
Michigan Lansing Mission

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 9: Slirpees, Slippin', and Savin' Souls! Haha! :)

Family and Friends!<3

Oh how I love hearing from you all on Monday! It gives me a recharge for the start to a long week!:) Thanks for all the packages, letters, emails, prayers, etc. It helps and blesses me more than you know! As for this are Momma's questions:

1.) So how are the Vanegas' doing? Better? The same? And Abe & Hun?

Our lesson and dinner with the Vanegas' got canceled last week. But we are going tonight! I love that family so much! Keep them in your prayers please! And Abe came to church yesterday!!! So did Steven! They are awesome!:)

2.) How many wards do you cover? Just one or multiple?

Just one! Thank heavens! But I am pretty sure I now know this ward better then my home ward!;) Ooopppsss....haha! But I seriously LOVE them! They make me feel like I am home and I know the Bishopric super well already! They are awesome!:) And I am pretty sure they love us too!;)

3.) What is your favorite lesson/lessons to teach so far?

The Restoration. I love it. It is how we have this church in the latter days. I have grown to love Joseph Smith so much and all he did for this church. Once you have a testimony that he was a true prophet, you can come to know that The Book of Mormon is the literal word of God.

4.) What's the longest period of time you've been out finding so far? (Just wondering cuz that's gotta be cold)

Probably 3 and a half-4 hours in a row. The Lord really blesses us though. I once said a prayer for someone to let us in because I was freezing and it happened at the next door! But it is warmer here now and THE SUN IS SHINING MORE! I never want the winter to come back! Haha! probs will!:(

5.) Introduce us to "Mama Bear" Summers:

Oh my! Where do I start?! When I first got to the mission I met her at the mission home and she had helped Sister Jacobsen cook dinner for us. Then I come to figure out she has depression and anxiety (like me) and that there was a period of time in her life that she left the church. One day she was at a dinner and the missionaries were invited and she was DETERMINED to prove them wrong and be mean. But they loved her so much that she couldn't resist loving them back! And that started her path back into the fold of God and her constant love, help, and support to the MLM Missionaries! We love her! She brings us treats, takes us out to eat, etc! We would be lost without her! And her testimony is so strong you would've NEVER guessed she ever left the church! She is a spiritual giant!:) I just love her so much and know Heavenly Father put her in my life for a reason.<3 

6.) A spiritual "high" this week:

We have a NEW, SOLID investigator! His name is Daniel and he is from Congo, Africa! He is going to MSU but he is married (his wife lives back in Africa) so we get to keep him and teach him! Sorry MSU sisters! Haha!;) He has such a strong foundation of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father already. We have only taught him the Restoration so far but I am excited to see where he goes! He said something that I loved. He told us, "This church is calling to me." And the best part is...he referred himself! He saw the Christmas video on and loved how it was all different cultures talking about Christ. Man! He is cool!:) Morgan even went to the lesson with us and she said something that left a deep impression on me. She said, "This is my home, because it's where Jesus Christ is." So it doesn't matter where you live if Jesus Christ is with you, it is your home.<3 That definitely applies to me here in Michigan!

7.) Ponderize scripture:

Well I read Zech.13:6 this morning in the bible and I loved it! Christ's people asked him (after he was resurrected): "What are these wounds in thy hands?" And Jesus Christ responded: "Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."

Family and Friends...even Jesus Christ's own friends abandoned him, Peter denied him three times, Judas betrayed him with a kiss, the apostles fell asleep during Christ's suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, and yet he still loved them. And he still did the father's will. To what length will we go to do our Father's will? That is my question to you for the week! Ponder that and write your thoughts down! You will come to realize you can do more than you ever thought with the atonement of Jesus Christ. He loves you, so show him you love him too.

And now....I have a funny story for the week! Bahahaha! goes nothing......

So me and Sister Nelson were having a really rough day. She wanted a slirpee while we are out door knocking, so we stopped by the nearest gas station and bought one. Yes, it was pouring snow outside, yes we still drank it, and no...we were actually not any colder. Haha! So as we were walking down an empty road there's a ton of snow on the ground and then there were layers of ice under the snow. I have been telling Sister Nelson the past 50 times I have ALMOST fallen that one of these days I am just going to biff it. And yep...that's what happened. Slirpee in hand and all! Haha! I guess I screamed too...according to Sister Nelson. But I don't remember that much. Just ending up on the ground, sprawled out like a pancake on my back. I was laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. I think Heavenly Father knew we needed some comic relief and OF COURSE I would be the one to give that!;) But no worries....out slirpee was still alive and ok!!!:) Bahahahaha!

Well I love you all and the Lord does too! Have a fabulous week!<3

P.S. "The Lord doesn't expect us to be perfect. He only expects perfect progression." -Elder Neil Dorrough (one of the awesome Elders in our district)

Remember the church is true and I love you!
<3Sister Rogers<3
Michigan Lansing Mission

Our district meeting with President! (Who randomly walked in...bummm...bummm...bummmmm...hahahaha!)

All the sisters in our zone before transfers! Goodbyes are hard!;(

Elder Marley who went back home to AZ!;(

Right after I biffed it!;) And don't you love my "momma"?! I sure do!;) And see! The slirpee is all good!

Flippin' fat squirrels in MI! Bahahaha!

Cute little Julia and "questionable" looking us! Haha! Long Friday...long Friday....

"Grandma" made "mom" a late birthday cake! Gluten and dairy free! She's a boss! (Grandma is to the right of Sister Nelson!)

Just us. ;)

What New Year's Eve looks like for missionaries!;)